Save the Date for the 2 018 GLSLCI Annual Meeting!
Mark your calendars to join us in Ajax, Ontario June 13-15, 2018 for our Annual Member Meeting and Conference! Registration will open soon! Confirmed speakers for the event include: Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, and Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.  Stay tuned to glslcities.org/ajax2018 for registration and more details. 
Cities Initiative President/CEO Meets with Quebec Mayors
John Dickert, President/CEO of the Cities Initiative, has made it a point to get out and meet member mayors. His most recent efforts were focused in Québec, February 7-9, 2018. Scott McKay accompanied John on this trip. They first met with the Union des Municipalités du Québec (UMQ) maritime caucus. Thirty mayors and elected representatives of shoreline cities along the St Lawrence River discussed water management issues; additional topics included Asian carp, water levels, and the Port of Montréal expansion, a top priority for Cities Initiative member mayor Maud Allaire of Contrecouer.   The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Collaborative was discussed in a meeting with Cities Initiative members Mayor Régis Labeaume, President of the Québec Metropolitan Community, and Québec City Deputy Mayor Michelle Morin-Doyle, and Montréal City Councilor Suzie Miron. The Collaborative was also the main topic of discussion with the Québec Deputy Minister of the Environment, Patrick Beauchesne. John and Scott also met with member mayors Marc Demers of Laval, Martin Damphousse of Varennes, and Yves Lévesque of Trois-Rivières. Interactions like these with our members will help inform and bolster the strategic planning we are conducting for the organization. John has also made visits to mayors in the Niagara region, Wisconsin, and Ohio.  
Trump Budget Slashes Great Lakes Funding
President Donald Trump cut Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding by approximately 90% in his proposed FY 2019 budget. The budget cuts other programs and funding streams critical to the Great Lakes and reduces funding to many of the federal agencies that oversee the management of Great Lakes programs, including the US EPA. A snapshot of Great Lakes related budget line items includes:
  • $30 Million budgeted for the GLRI (down from $300 Million)
  • $5.4 Billion budgeted for the US EPA (a 34% reduction from 2017 levels)
  • $0 budgeted for the Clean Water Act Section 319 programs that help communities reduce polluted runoff into waterways
  • $2.65 Billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds which are low interest loans for communities to repair and update water and wastewater infrastructure.
Asian Carp Update
Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan recently announced the creation of the Great Lakes Partnership to Block Asian Carp, along with the states of Wisconsin, Ohio and the Province of Ontario. The partnership aims to commit strategic and financial resources to supporting the US Army Corps of Engineers proposed Tentatively Selected Plan for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. An estimated $8 Million is needed annually in non-federal match and the partnership will work to identify ways to cover that non-federal need. To learn more, visit https://blockasiancarp.org/

A bipartisan group of House members recently sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee in early February. The letter requests that they include in any final FY 2018 funding legislation language requiring the US ACE to complete the report on Brandon Road by February 2019, the original deadline set back in 2015. To read the letter, click here
Local Governments Suing Over Climate Change
A number of US cities and counties have filed lawsuits against oil companies in recent months. The lawsuits generally seek damages to pay for the costs of rising sea levels attributable to climate change. New York City, NY, and California local governments including Imperial Beach, Richmond, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Oakland, Marin County and San Mateo County are among the local units of government that have taken action. To learn more, click here
Wetland Resilience for a Changing World
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association is seeking proposals for oral presentations and posters for its 2018 Wetland Science Conference. The conference aims to examine the many sides of wetland resilience, including how managers can help promote wetland resilience now and in the future and how communities can include wetlands and watersheds in their planning for resilience.  
February 20-22, 2018
Oconomowoc, WI

To submit a presentation proposal, due November 15, 2017, click here .

Great Lakes Commission Semi-Annual Meeting and Great Lakes Days
Events will feature dialogue on Great Lakes priorities by regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies. Our meetings offer an opportunity for Great Lakes stakeholders to convene with colleagues and share perspectives on important Great Lakes issues.
March 6-8, 2018
Washington, DC

American Water Resources Association - Wisconsin Section 2018 Annual Meeting
Working Together for Wisconsin's Water: Balancing Industry, the Environment and Public Health.
March 8-9, 2018
Appleton, WI

Great Lakes Protection Initiative and EcoAction Community Funding Program
Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking applications for funding for both the Great Lakes Protection Initiative and the EcoAction Community Funding Program. The GLPI addresses challenges affecting Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health and EcoAction deals with projects related to water or climate change. 
GLPI Deadline: March 15
Please note that applications for the Engaging Indigenous Peoples priority area are due March 30 .

EcoAction Due: March 21
For more info on the EcoAction funding and to apply, click here
Michigan’s Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Program
Grants for Michigan local units of government to help clean Michigan waterways. Local units of government may partner with nonprofit organizations or other volunteer groups to carry out the work. A 25 percent minimum local match is required.
Deadline: Feb. 20, 2018

For more information and the application, click here.
Coastal Water Trails Grant
The Michigan Coastal Management Program is making grant money available for planning and implementing water trail projects along Michigan’s more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes coastline.
Deadline: March 5, 2018

For more information, click here
NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants
Funding for projects that strengthen our coastal communities and ecosystems, improving their resilience to extreme weather or other adverse events.
Pre-Proposal Deadline: March 7, 2018

To learn more,  click here .
NOAA Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Grants
Funding will be available for projects that create functional habitats for native fish species migration, reproduction, growth, and seasonal refuge; Restore sites outside of Areas of Concern; and ensure the long term protection of restored sites. 
Deadline: March 12, 2018

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Financing
WIFIA is a new federal credit program administered by US EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. WIFIA can fund development and implementation activities for projects like: 1). Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects; 2). Drinking water treatment and distribution projects; 3). Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities
Deadline: TBD
It is anticipated there will be another round of applications for WIFIA at the end of the year, assuming the federal appropriations are authorized by October. 

To learn more about the program, click here.
Membership 
Please join the 131 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative members in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River by clicking  here  for a membership application. If you are already a member, please encourage your neighboring communities to join, and be sure to renew your membership when you receive your notice. 
Follow Us: